Been expanding by French pocketknife collection lately, and I managed to snag a real gem. Pradel was a popular knife maker operating from the mid 19th to the mid 20th cen. in France, but the most detailed information I could find on the brand is from an old post on this forum(viewtopic.php?t=21642&start=240
). This is one in the classic style, a single bladed jackknife with a bolster and flat scales.
This example is in really good condition; no rust, a bit of patina, strong spring and a good halfstop. Thankfully, the black plastic scales haven't shrunk or cracked at all. The seller speculated they might be some form of Bakelite, but I don't know enough about old plastics to judge. Fit and finish is great for a knife this age, originally intended as an affordable tool. The edge is nice and thin and it wouldn't take much effort to sharpen it up into a good slicer. Also, its easy enough to open with a good pinch, so you don't have to fight the spring with just your thumbnail. Anybody have a good idea when this might date to? All I know that might narrow it down is that the company went out of business in the 60s. Hopefully the B.B.B tang stamp is a good clue.